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Posts Tagged ‘Senate’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Media Cover Cantor Loss | RTDNA Announces Winners

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Right-Wing Radio’s Win on Cantor (Politico)
Dave Brat didn’t have much money, staff or name recognition — but he did have Laura Ingraham. In the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s primary, the conservative talk radio host did more to raise Brat’s profile in his Virginia district than his own campaign could ever have done with its paltry budget and paid staff of two, political experts in the state and Washington said Wednesday. TVNewser Cable news networks went into overdrive with the stunning news Tuesday night. At 8:06 p.m. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow interrupted Chris Hayes‘ show, which had been pre-recorded. Maddow called it “a shocking development in American politics.” (Hayes returned live at 8:38 p.m.). CNN’s Anderson Cooper called the race at 8:11 p.m. and FNC’s Trace Gallagher broke into The O’Reilly Factor at 8:14 p.m. ET, before Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly picked up coverage and filled out the 8 p.m. ET hour. NYT Few people did more than Ingraham to propel Brat, a 49-year-old economics professor who has never held elected office before, from obscurity to national conservative hero, defeating house majority leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary held Tuesday night. And few stories better illustrate how his out-of-nowhere victory was due in large part to a unique and potent alignment of influential voices in conservative media. New York Daily News / Mouth of The Potomac Ingraham likened a rally she held for Brat to what she saw in 2008 when freshman senator Barack Obama was campaigning in the Iowa caucuses. She left Iowa knowing Obama would win. “The national media totally missed this,” said Ingraham, a nervy and entertaining conservative, noting how little coverage the rally got, mostly via the local NBC station and a conservative website. TVNewser Nearly 4 million people tuned into one of the cable news networks during the 8 p.m. ET hour Tuesday night as news broke that Cantor had been defeated in his Virginia primary race. As usual, Fox News led the way in both ratings metrics, averaging 2,794,000 total viewers and 485,000 adult 25-54 viewers in the 8 p.m. hour.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast, TWC Face Senate | Pauley to CBS | CNN’s Digital Video Push

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Senate Panel Expresses Caution on Merger of Cable Giants (NYT)
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee expressed concern on Wednesday that the proposed $45 billion merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable would raise the prices consumers pay for cable television and high-speed Internet service while leaving them with fewer choices for video programming. But the senators generally failed to rattle Comcast and Time Warner executives or cause them to diverge from their basic defense of the merger: that it will not affect competition because the two companies do not compete anywhere. Only one senator, Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, said during the three-hour hearing that he wanted the merger blocked. CNNMoney Comcast and Time Warner Cable said that the merger will lead to improvements in services for customers, creating scale and cost savings that will drive new investments. Several Republican senators, most notably Orin Hatch of Utah, seemed to agree. Although the combined company would have a presence in 19 of the top 20 U.S. markets, Comcast executive vice president David Cohen noted that Comcast and Time Warner Cable don’t compete in any of those cities. He argued that customer choices therefore won’t be affected. The Washington Post / The Switch “There’s no doubt that Comcast is a huge, influential company with more than 100 lobbyists” hired to persuade regulators and lawmakers to approve the deal, said Franken. “But I’ve also heard from over 100,000 consumers who oppose the deal.” Cohen said at the hearing that he couldn’t promise to reduce prices on their services. The rise of cable bills at three times the rate of inflation is among the many concerns consumers have about the proposal that would merge the top two cable firms and the biggest and third-biggest broadband providers. Adweek It’s not that the Senators didn’t have “concerns.” The stats that will define the combined company’s unmatched size — 19 of the top 20 markets, 23 of the top 25, and 37 of the top 50 — give lawmakers pause. They even struggled to understand whether or not the combined company would dominate advertising sales. But they stopped short of opposing the merger, calling on the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice “to consider carefully the impact on consumers as they review the pending merger,” said judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy. WSJ / MoneyBeat The hearing came a day after Comcast submitted a 180-page document justifying its purchase of Time Warner Cable. The filing walked through the various parts of the media industry that could be affected by the deal, including online video, television programming and broadband Internet access, as well as local ad sales in the cable market. If the deal wins approval, Comcast would have 30 percent of the nation’s pay-TV subscribers and nearly 40 percent of U.S. broadband subscribers.

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Senator Seeks Evidence in News Corp. Phone Hacking

Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate’s Commerce Committee, is putting the squeeze on News Corporation. The Telegraph reports that Rockefeller flew to News Corp.’s London headquarters to gather evidence of phone hacking. Any information obtained could then be used for a potential Senate investigation into the Rupert Murdoch media empire.

When news of the scandal broke in 2011, Rockefeller was a vocal critic of News Corp. He urged the FBI and DOJ to open investigations into the company, and they both have. Their cases — which are still underway — involve the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which concerns American companies bribing foreign officials.

Last year, during the Leveson Inquiry, Rockefeller wrote Judge Leveson, claiming that he was “interested in learning whether any of the conduct you are investigating falls within the jurisdiction of US laws.” It appears that his curiosity has only grown since then.